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Grey's Anatomy Recap: April Could Be the Final Nail in the Jaggie Coffin

Plus, Katherine and Richard had a no good, very bad day

Amanda Bell

Oof, guys, this one's brutal. A lot went down in the second-to-last episode before Grey's Anatomy's winter hiatus.

This week Maggie (Kelly McCreary) uncovers something shattering when she accidentally finds a text to Jackson's (Jesse Williams) phone from a woman named Kate who misses him and isn't afraid to overdo it with the heart emojis. Yes, heart emojis. Homegirl wasn't even trying to be subtle.

Maggie no fool. She knows what this means. And yet, she allows Jackson to systematically find a way to blame her for him engaging in emotional cheating with this woman, whom he met on his "God Quest," because she hasn't been emotional enough with him to satisfy his newfound faith. Hmm, this seems familiar. Oh right, that's because it's exactly what drove him and April Kepner apart, and whaddya know? He's been texting her, too. Probably not in the same way as this Kate person, but yeah, he's been carrying on secret deep conversations with two women, and it's completely inappropriate and somehow it's all Maggie's fault. Cool story, bro.

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He blames her because she's not emotionally available to him and doesn't have deep religious beliefs. She's too wrapped up in herself and her ambition to understand his spiritual needs, apparently. It just gets worse and worse, and yet Maggie tries to listen to him.

He insists he never slept with Kate, but doesn't deny that she probably wants to do just that. However, he has been carrying on a meaningful relationship with this woman, even if it's just conversations about their deep dark experiences and losses. Maggie can't talk about these things despite the fact that she JUST openly mourned her mother's death again, so he's filling a void left by HER. Gross.

Somehow, it starts to work. Maggie admits that she's always been the go-getter who didn't have time for friends and love and emotions and doesn't even pretend to understand everything he has been through but wants to try. Once he tells her that he loves her and has just been grieving so much -- over his first child, the death of his marriage that would've worked if he'd only found God sooner, the woman in the hyperbolic chamber? -- she does exactly what he's accused her of and walks out the door.

Maggie has admitted that she saw the end of their relationship coming as soon as it began but always assumed it'd be her that made the mistake that sabotaged it. Despite Jackson's best efforts to convince her that it is her tough guard that's got him merely sleeping with her while sharing his heart with others, though, she now seems unconvinced. Her next trip to buy some milk should be a permanent one if this is who Jackson Avery is beneath all that pretty. Hard nexttttt, girl.

Jesse Williams, Grey's Anatomy​

Jesse Williams, Grey's Anatomy

Mitch Haaseth, ABC

However, Maggie's got a lot more to worry about than a breakup. While she was in the middle of an emotional meltdown, her father was having a breakdown of his own that is going to send shockwaves through the family.

Richard Webber's (James Pickens Jr.) continued sobriety has been a cause for concern for some time now -- he's isolated, grieving, and without a sponsor while refusing to take on another after Ollie's death. And it's only gonna get worse from here, if this week's developments are any indication.

Catherine (Debbie Allen) has summoned Drs. Tom Koracick (Greg Germann) and Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) to visit the shiny new Catherine Fox hospital that's kept her away in Los Angeles for so long, and the reason she's called in the "big guns" -- to borrow Koracick's estimation of their equal talents -- is that they're needed for a consult on a VIP patient.

Mer's shaky about the plane ride, for obvious reasons, and Koracick is receptive to that trepidation, wisely asking whether she'd like him to talk to her through, or just shut up and enjoy his double espresso with cinnamon and lots of milk. She chooses the former, and they seem to enjoy each other's company well enough, never mind the sprawling size of his ego.

When they get to the hospital, they're impressed by what Catherine has built here, but they're even more impressed by the size of the whopping tumor that's presented on the scans board. This thing is a mammoth and wraps right around the patient's spinal cord, so Koracick says straight away that whoever it belongs to is in deep, deep trouble. The sharpness of his quick assessment backfires, though, when he finds out that it doesn't belong to some Hollywood celebrity trying to keep this a secret; it belongs to Catherine herself.

This isn't the first time this bait-and-switch trick with a tumor has been played -- and Koracick himself operated on the last one, Amelia! -- so he probably should've seen this coming, but alas. Here they are, slack-jawed and ashamed of themselves for giving her a grim diagnosis before they've even had the chance to biopsy the behemoth.

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Once they do get the results, though, it's as bad as they feared. Her particular form of cancer won't respond to chemotherapy, so the best chance they've got is for him to extract it, and he's having a tough time with the idea that it might not go well. Turns out, these two have a long history together of singing Sinatra songs in the OR and such because, once upon a time, it was Catherine who pulled Koracick out of a deep depression following the loss of his child. He can't bear the thought of her dying, too.

Catherine's a tough cookie, though, and she's ready to fight this thing, come what may ... but not until she has a stiff drink that's timed all too well with what's going on in Richard's life.


Grey's Anatomy, ABC


Webber's nurse and friend Frankie is 28 weeks pregnant, and it's been a long road getting to this point for her. She's undergone multiple expensive rounds of IVF to finally have a viable pregnancy, and she doesn't intend for anything to happen to her little "Pancake" -- that's the placeholder name for the baby boy she's growing in her belly, although Webber is not so secretly hoping she'll name him Richard.

When Frankie experiences some severe pain and passes out in the middle of their counterside chat, Richard's all over it. An ultrasound reveals that she's got an artery wrapped around her spleen cutting off blood supply and insists she'll need surgery right away. Frankie refuses the procedure, however, insisting that it'll mean taking the baby out far too soon, and she can't bear the thought of losing the little guy. After a while, her instinct to take a wait-and-see approach seems on-point, as blood supply is restored to the organ. Her gaggle of nurse friends seems delighted and supportive, and all is well until the pain doubles her over yet again. This time, there's no question she'll need to have an emergency surgery, and Richard summons Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) to come in on an assist in case they do have to take the baby out and get it to the NICU right away.

Richard tries his best to respect Frankie's wishes to keep the baby in utero, but once she starts losing a lot of blood on the table, the baby becomes distressed, and there's no choice. The tiny, palm-sized fella has to come out, and luckily, Alex is able to get him breathing and into an incubator. Richard, however, is unable to save Frankie and is so heartbroken over the loss that he can't even get the words out to call time of death. He's been on the edge for some time now, but this is the incident that finally gets him into a meeting.

He doesn't last long there, though. When given the choice between hearing out a woman who's 24-hours sober and loving it, or heading down to the local bar where you can turn in chips for free shots, he chooses the latter and is gifted eight shots of vodka in return for his 8-years-sober token. It ... does not go as expected.

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Instead of drowning his sorrows, as it appears he might, he proceeds to go behind the bar and steal the barkeep's baseball bat so he can smash every glass object in sight, including his own line-up of shot glasses.

The owner threatens to call the police on him, and he welcomes the arrest. He's eager to inform the authorities of the barkeep's manipulation and targeted temptation of people who are trying to better themselves by getting sober.

When Catherine steals herself to tell Richard the bad news, after having been convinced by Meredith that she should be honest and trust Richard to be able to handle it (note: this is the second time Mer has advised people to open up this season because Cici's charms have clearly rubbed off on her), all she gets is his voicemail. Richard, meanwhile, is busy calling Meredith to let her know he's in jail and needs her to spring him. This news might change her opinion as to how well her pseudo-stepdad can really handle this thing.

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​Jesse Williams and Kelly McCreary, Grey's Anatomy

Jesse Williams and Kelly McCreary, Grey's Anatomy

Mitch Haaseth, ABC

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.